The Pacific Monthly/Volume 4/Number 6/Books


Conducted by Davis Parker Leach.

-Short History of American Literature

By Walter C. Bronson.

D. C. Heath & Co., Boston.

This work is practically a student's Tiand-book of the literature of America and designed to give, in a condensed form, its history from the time of Cap- tain John Smith until the present day. It is divided as to epochs, and each peri- od is conveniently subdivided into class- es. Mr. Bronson illustrates, in an in- teresting manner, the early tendency to imitate English style, and shows in a clear and comprehensive fashion the gradual growth of the "Ameri- can" idea and individuality, with its later mellowing into a smoother cosmopolitanism. He has a crisp, original way of stating things that makes his criticism even more in- teresting than the criticised, and many into whose hands this book will fall will "be tempted to re-read much of the half- forgotten literature of the past, if only for the sake of proving, or disproving, some of the author's positive assertions.

The volume is invaluable as a refer- ence book, for many names omitted from other works of this nature are introduced Tiere. The appendix containr "opious extracts from writers of the earlier period of American leters, and also an exten- sive bibliography. And through all, from title page to finis, the author's personali- ty is made manifest, and aall mdeed must be the student who is not stimulat- ed to active interest in this fascinating subject. Hoch der Kaiser»Myself und Gott,

By A. McGregor Rose. A. M. K. Gcrdan

This poem was first brought promi- nently to public notice when Captain Coghlan, of the U. S. Navy, recited it at a banquet some two years since. In view of the slight antagonism developed "by the Manila affair, it was considered

an act of indiscretion on the part of the gallant Captain, and the German press was extremely severe in its criticisms.

The episode created a sensation and excited an interest in the poem, which was widely circulated. There were thir- teen verses in all, but by some mistake only eight were at first printed. The Abbey Press has here given the poem in its entirety, and the illustrations, by Miss Jessie A. Walker, are admirable. The book, altogether, is a desirable ad- dition to the library, and the reappear- ance of the clever verses recalls a re- mark made by one of our brainy women. Someone calling attention to the Em- peror's exalted opinion of himself and his divine right to rule, she said: "He must be akin to those mental-science, or in-partnership-with-the-Infinite peo- ple, who claim to believe themselves om- nipotent. The Emperor's position is no more ridiculous than their's."

The volume is tastefully bound and printed, and reflects credit upon the pub- lishers.


By Frances Fuller Victor.

This volume of verse will be welcomed by all of Mrs. Victor's admirers. There are some of the old-time favorites here, but many are now for the first time published. The author retains the thoughtful tenderness and sentiment she had of old, but the later poems show an increased dramatic power that was not conspicuous in the earlier work.

It is not easy to choose where there is so much that is worthy of praise, but among the best are "The Passing of the Year," "Reprimand," and "The Poppies of Wa-ii-lat-pu." In the latter there is a glowing tribute to the memory of the pioneers of Oregon. The following stanzas are from this poem of the


From the Atlantic's rocky rim,
To the Pacific's steel-bound shore,
We trace the trails, time cannot dim,
The men of fate have trod before,
Leading an empire on a line
Stretching from flashing brine to brine.

There is no place they have not been,
The men of deeds and destiny;
No spot so wild they have not seen,
And measured it with dautless eye.
They in a common danger shared,
Nor shrunk from toil, nor want nor pain,
But sternly every peril dared,
Just to be heroes, scorning gain,
We, trembling, listen to tae tale
That turns the hardest hearer pale.

Scattered through the book are fragmentary verses that are gems in the way of style and thought. The following, entitled "On San Francisco Bay," is one of them:

"O perfect day, sunlit Bay,
Whene'er our souls are called to sail,
The sunless strait where shadows wait,
May we emerge into a vale
Where Angel Islands guard the gate!"


By Will Skaling.

Merchants' Printing Co., Seattle.

This collection of short poems em- braces a wide range of subjects and in many instances are marked by a true poetic instinct and grace. The author seems at his best in his descriptive verse of Puget Sound and mountain scenery, and in inscriptions to friends and acquaintances. Some of his work is marred by a despairing, irreverent tone, and his yearnings for happiness will probably be fruitless until he takes a sane view of life and a more respectful attitude toward the universe and the Creator.

There is an evidence of talent in his work, and when he can write with self- forgetfulness and realize that the "King- dom of God is within him" we look for some very meritous productions from his pen.

A Pair of Knaves and a Few Trumps By M. Douglas Flattery.

The Abbey Press, N. Y.

This is one of the class of books which should be labeled "positively bad." In the beginning, .one is not favorably im- pressed with the title, and before the end of the first chapter the tone of the work is unpleasantly indicated. It is coarse, unnecessarily so, and a generation ago would have been eagerly caught up by

the publishers of that class of Hterature called "yellow backed." The book is a delight as to binding and paper, but why the publishers will print a book of this kind when there is so much good material going begging, is a question that can only be answered by themselves. Literary Notes.

Dr. and Mrs. Eastman are now living in South Dakota. Dr. Eastman, who has been appointed Government Ph3/s- ician for the Sioux Indians, is himself a Sioux, and his wife is the talented writer of prose and verse, Elaine Goodale. She was the first supervisor of schools in the Dakotas. This interesting couple, for whom all manner of troubles were pre- dicted at the time of their marriage, seem to be very happily mated. They have two handsome children, Virginia, and her baby brother of three years whose Indian name is Ohyssa. Dr. and Mrs. Eastman have recently been at Carlisle.

Madge Morris, whose Easter poem, written for the Call, of San Francisco, is reprinted in the current niimber of the Pacific Monthly, is a most interesting woman as well as a clever writer. In this "Peace Conference," she gives evi- dence of unsuspected strength, hitherto her poems have been remarkable for beauty and grace and richness of color, rather than for the rugged virility which characterizes this, her latest production.

It is said that Miss Braddon's new novel, "The Infidel," is on more ambi- tious lines than her former works, the scenes of which belong to the time of George II. Since the days of Haggard. Kipling, Hope and Zangwill, Miss Braddon has lost much of her former popularity, but with her ingenuity of plot and natural gift of story-telling, it- is predicted that she will in new lines be successful.

Messrs. Calderwood and Aefifron. of Minneapolis, have issued a convenient pocket manual of "Politics and Finance" which they term "Pan-Partisan" or rath- er non-partisan. It is brimfull of useful statistics covering every line of trade, development, finance, population, etc.. and should be in every voter's pocket to refute wild and reckless statements, if for nothing more. It is entirely free from advertising matter, and is sold for the low price of 15 cents.